Short history of schools in Chinnor and general education for the population.

Literacy in Chinnor

By 1803 Chinnor had a school of industry that taught lace-making and sewing. In 1815 there were three schools teaching girls to make lace, which became an important local industry. There were four schools for boys but there was no Church of England school until the 1850s.

Before formal education was established, many children learned to read and write at home but as late as 1921, George Witney witnessed his daughter’s death certificate with an X.   There were two primary schools in Chinnor. The British School founded by the British and Foreign School Society was opened in 1841 and stood in the centre of the village with a house for the master attached. but was closed in 1893 when it amalgamated with the National School. In 1848 Magdalen College, Oxford voted to fund a Church of England school.St Andrew's Church of England Primary School,was designed by G.E. Street. The Chinnor National School (later St. Andrew’s C of E Primary School), under the auspices of Magdalen College Oxford, was opened in 1850.

Magdalen College provided further funds in 1859 and the landlord of the Crown Inn also gave funds. The school at last opened in 1860. In 1892 it was enlarged, again at Magdalen College's expense. It became a voluntary controlled school in 1948 and taught children of all ages until secondary school. 

In 1903 the average attendance was 190 children who started school at age 3 and left at age 10. The children joined the school at any time of the year but after theElementary Education Act, 1870 the children stayed until they were 13 and then mostly went into farming, lace making or domestic service.  There existed an ongoing conflict between the needs of an educated population and the need for children to contribute to the family economy from an early age.

Chinnor now has two primary schools St Andrews Church of England and Mill Lane Community School.

Mabel Howlett went to St Andrews School, Chinnor and here writes about her school days

Fun time for children

In the document library below you will find a Children's quiz and some pictures for you to print out and colour in.

Chinnor Chronicle September 1982 Issue 284 price 15p 

Chinnor Adult Education Centre

The new year for Adult Education begins this month and the programme at the Chinnor Centre is once again a balance of old favourites, such as yoga, Keep fit, Languages, and dressmaking with several entirely new courses such as Chess, Archaeology, Self Defence and Chair Caning to mention but a few.

The Prospectus for 1982 / 3 has been widely distributed in and around Chinnor and copies are still available at Libraries, Post Office, Banks etc. Please note that enrolment will take place on Wednesday 8th September, 7.30  9.00pm at St Andrew’s School and on Saturdays 11th & 18th September 10.00 – 12 noon, in the Further Education Room, Library Building, Chinnor.

Alternative, postal enrolments will be accepted and processed from 9th September onwards.  Please try to enrol in one of these ways before term begins on the 20th September so that we have a clear picture of umbers and class viability.

The following students at the Centre have gained examination successes in the summer

GCE ‘O’ Level 
Biology – Jacqueline Chipperfield, Karen Stonham, Neil Osment
Art – Sally Anderso, Kathleen Braggio, Gordon Halfacre, Andrew Boyson, Betty Taylor 
Geography – Lesley Caine, Rosmarie Ramsay, Stephen Edwards, Lorraine Viveash, Mary Brackley, Anne Aldous 
Mathematics – Ivor Jones, Diane Roberts 
RSA Typing Stage II (Whitsun Series) 
Jennifer Harris, Tina Wolfendale

Chinnor Library

Chinnor benefits from a very well used library.  A library in the last decade which was threatened with closure as part of the County's cost saving measures.  A public meeting was held in St Andrews school hall where residents were able to express their concerns and disagreement with the impending forced closure. The meeting was so well attended it was obvious residents were not going to stand by and see the loss of such a facility in the Village.

Fortunately the County listened, with the result being the library was saved providing permanent staff were cut and volunteers would assist the Head Librarian and the minimum staff left run and maintain the service

Volunteers were numerous and the library today is thriving.  Lots of events for children, including story time.  Researchers have the means to pursue their researches at their finger tips.  There are always members of staff available to assist and with the help of the Head Librarian, Chinnor Heritage will have their own History trolley filled with documents too fragile or not suitable for uploading to the website.  Residents will be able to view the items, handling with care and using the latex gloves provided.  

In 1985 a small history exhibition was held in the library for the Chinnor Historical and Archaeological Society to encourage more involvement in history general as well as history relating to Chinnor